Christmas Baking: Biscotti – A New Recipe

 

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Behold the beautiful biscotti that will be gracing my gift tins to family and friends. Now I know that I just posted a biscotti recipe not too long ago, but I wanted to share this one as well because they have somewhat different properties. The previous biscotti recipe produced a soft and tender cookie, which was very good. This recipe, however, mimics what I have grown up to know and love about the biscotti – hard, crunchy, and it withstands multiple dips into a cup of coffee without falling apart. So both of these are good; if you want one that’s a little softer to enjoy eating with your tea I would suggest my previous entry. However, if you’re Italian or a dunker, you’ll want to use this recipe, as I feel it’s much more authentic. Also, the previous recipe made significantly smaller biscotti, whereas these are substantially larger and look like they came from a coffee shop. A little drizzle of chocolate and they were ready for my tins!

Basic Biscotti

(Adapted from The Feast Within)

1/4 pound (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat your oven to 375F.

Cream the sugar and butter together until fluffy, add the eggs one at a time along, and then add the extract.  Scrape your bowl if needed to make sure everything is smoothly mixed and incorporated. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a separate bowl. Add it gradually to the creamed mixture and mix just until a dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and rub your hands with a little flour. Divide the dough in two and form each half into a log about 4 inches wide by 10 inches long. Bake on parchment lined baking sheets until lightly browned and small cracks form on top, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly on the baking sheets. Transfer the logs to a cutting board. Slice on the diagonal in generous 1/2 inch slices – this is easiest by using a straight down chopping motion with a good santuko or chef’s knife. Place them with the cut side up on parchment lined baking trays and bake another approximately 16-20 minutes or until slightly browned, turning over half way through the baking. Cool completely on a wire rack.